Newsmakers

President Obama Reflects on JFK Legacy, His Own Personal Safety

Newsmakers

On the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, President Obama said that although the tragedy transformed the U.S. Secret Service, which protects him and his family today, he doesn't spend much time worrying about his personal safety.

"It's not something I think about," Obama told ABC News' Barbara Walters in an interview today. "Mainly because we have a Secret Service that does an outstanding job every single day."

"And, obviously, tragedy reshaped the Secret Service in many ways, but they do an outstanding job and it's thankfully not something I spend a lot of time worrying about," he added.

Obama also reflected on JFK's untimely death, which came nearly three years into his presidency, and its lasting impact on the country.

"And it's been an incredible legacy but JFK in particular, I think, captured the idealism, the ability to imagine and remake America to meets its ideals, in a way we haven't seen before or since," Obama said.

"And I don't know of anyone who has had that same impact on a generation and inspired so many people as JFK has," he added.

Kennedy's ability to move a generation scarred by World War II into the future is the source of the lasting effect of his presidency, Obama said.

"I think that partly because of his youth, partly, and his grace, partly because of his courage and his history in World War II, partly because of his eloquence and partly because of the time.

"He really moved people in a way that still resonates with us today."

President Obama's full interview with Barbara Walters will air on ABC News "20/20" Friday, Nov. 29.

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